Published

David Lowery

You can read the testimony that David Lowery, a musician and faculty member in the Music Business Program, gave before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Jan. 28. 

Lowery, who also leads the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, shared his thoughts on copyright law after being invited to speak by Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.)

Titled, "The Scope of Fair Use," the testimony outlines Lowery's arguments against expanding the legal definition of fair use. 

"In my different involvements in the music industry, the fair use doctrine plays a role in my life on a daily basis. As a professional singer songwriter, I believe the 'fair use' doctrine is working as intended in the music industry. However, I do have concerns about pushes to expand its boundaries beyond its traditional scope, especially when that expansion undermines my and other creators’ ability to make a living from our work," Lowery said. 

He continued: "In recent years, there has been an unfortunate push to cast aspersions on the concept of permission or control. The notion that individual creators’ rights are some pesky obstacle standing in the way of a wonderland of creativity has gained momentum in certain sectors. In countering these ideas, our current copyright laws protect creators based on the notion that permission, or consent, is the foundation of civilization. In addition, rights holders have never been easier to find.I wholeheartedly believe that in this context where the law and technology make it easy for authors to authorize the use of their work, there is no compelling reason to change the fair use doctrine as it currently exists."

The full transcript is available for free online.